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Travel buyers are coming up with new ways to persuade their travellers to book their business trips within policy.
The Management Solutions forum in London heard from buyers about the methods they were now deploying to show employees the impact of booking outside the corporate travel programme.
Margaret McGrath, director of global travel operations for Accenture, said that there was a scorecard for each traveller to show the details of their trips and costs.
“We have My Travel Summary which is a personal scorecard,” she said. “It pops up when our travellers go into the Accenture portal and shows what your personal scorecard is - how much you are spending, how often you are out of policy and the missed savings associated with that.
“We see it as a trigger that causes them to pause and think: "am I really taking that number of trips and is that what I’m spending?" A lot of people didn’t know. We also give them data benchmarks to help them make decisions.”
Kerrie Henshaw-Cox, global programme manager for Astra Zeneca, said that the pharma company had introduced an initiative called What Good Looks Like to show how much employees could have saved by booking within the travel programme.
“We looked at travel by our research and development team to see what would be the right prices for the route and a well-priced hotel,” she said. “We used examples that showed they would have saved X amount of money, which they could have used to buy so many packets of bovine solution – a product which is important in their research.
“For our sales team, we showed it in terms of how many extra sales trips they could have taken. We have translated it into their language.”
The forum also debated whether travel buyers were driving compliance by using punishments or rewards for their travellers.
Deborah Short, global travel manager for insurance company Willis, said: “There used to be a lot of stick rather than carrot. But now we are concentrating on giving them the right tools which take account of the different age groups and cultures in different countries.
“We want to give them the right app so they can make the right decision. We also have a travel website with hotel reviews and there are key messages such as what we expect you to pay.”
Guy Snelgar, EMEA director for Get There, added: “There has been a slow move from the stick to the carrot. There will always be the need for the stick to some extent but increasingly it will be for people booking way out of line or something completely inappropriate. These days, it’s more about recognition through badges or gamification.”